Columbia cybersecurity firm receives $8 million in venture capital

Bricata Inc., a Columbia-based cybersecurity firm, has received $8 million in venture capital funding from Edison Partners, the firm announced Tuesday.

Bricata, which develops software designed to hunt for network intrusions, will use the Series A funding to invest in marketing, research and development.

“To date, our ability to develop and commercialize a product that is solving real and urgent cybersecurity problems at scale has been largely self-funded, but this injection of capital will mark a sizable turning point for the company,” Bricata CEO and co-founder John Trauth said in a statement. “Edison Partners is helping to accelerate Bricata’s business plan. This will help more organizations stay ahead of cyber threats as part of a proactive and layered security posture.”

In an interview, Trauth said the investment gives the company “validation in the market as a company, that we’re bringing a solution people actually want.”

The company previously won a $100,000 grant in the InvestMaryland challenge from the state Department of Business and Economic Development, and last year was loaned $250,000 by the Howard County Economic Development Authority in a deal to move the company to Maryland.

Instead of the traditional perimeter-protection model of cybersecurity, the company creates tools that searches anomalies and threats lurking undetected inside a network, the firm said.

“Many enterprise security teams are drowning in cybersecurity alerts – often several thousand per day – and have very little context to distinguish genuine threats from the noise,” Trauth said. “Bricata brings that context.”

Bricata primarily works with large companies, such as health care systems, and sells nationally.

Early next year, the company plans to begin an international push in Europe, Trauth said. Bricata also sees opportunity in Asia and the Middle East, he said.

Founded in 2014, Bricata has 20 employees, about three-quarters of whom are based at the company’s headquarters in Columbia.

Bricata expects to more than double its staff to 48 employees by the end of the year, as marketing, sales and engineering efforts expand, Trauth said. Not all new hires will be based in Maryland.

As part of the deal, Bricata will create a six-person board of directors: Trauth; Gene Savchuk, chief technology officer and principal at Bricata; Lenard Marcus, partner at Edison Partners; John Becker, the former CEO of Sourcefire; Ben Levitan, an investor, tech executive and four-time CEO; and George Schu, a former partner and senior vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton, who has previously served on the Bricata board of advisers.

“Edison Partners is excited about Bricata’s vision and the unique value they bring to the cybersecurity market,” Marcus said in a statement. “John and the management team have a long history of building teams adept at solving the most dynamic cybersecurity problems.”